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Icon of Saint Isidora – Fool for Christ – S268

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Saint Isidora entered the women’s monastery at Tabennisi in the Egyptian deserts and sought such low position that everyone there thought that she was mad.  She wrapped a dirty kitchen towel over her head instead of a veil, and only ate scraps of food from the pots which she cleaned in the kitchen or left-overs from the other sisters’ plates.  She was universally despised by all.  Living for this way for many years, God revealed her secret way of life to an ascetic Pitirim, who was a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great, when he had wondered who was living in the desert at that time who was living a more exalted spiritual life than himself.

God led him to Tabennisi, where he asked to see all of the sisters.  They gathered, but left poor Isidora behind.  Saint Pitirim said that one was missing, and asked her to be brought.  The nuns insisted that she was mad and not worth seeing.  When she was brought in, the ascetic Saint Pitirim bowed down before her and she bowed down before him to everyone’s amazement.  Then the sisters told Saint Pitirim with regret all the evil that they had done to her.  Shortly afterwards, Saint Isidora left to escape the praise of men.

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Church Feast Day 1



Egg Tempera


Annunciation Convent, Patmos, Greece


Nun Markella


20th c. (Late)